Implant-supported dentures are dentures that are anchored directly to the jaw bone. Implants are posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, where they function as a strong anchor for replacement teeth or dentures. Implants are usually made out of titanium. Implant-supported dentures are an option that makes dentures more secure, and are not as costly as replacing each individual tooth with a single implant.
Regular dentures rest on the gums and rely on tissue and bone for support. An implant-retained denture, however, has special attachments that snap onto dental implants that have been strategically placed in the bone for support. These attachments can provide a range of tightness depending on your comfort level but will still allow the denture to be easily removed when necessary.
The number of implants necessary can vary for every patient but is often as minimal as only two implants for the lower jaw.
While most patients usually only require implants on the lower jaw because of the inherent lack of support for a denture there, both the upper and lower areas of the mouth can greatly benefit from implant-retained dentures.
Benefits Of Implant-Supported Dentures
Dentures anchored directly to the jawbone provide functional and aesthetic benefits for patients that may include:
Secure And Easy To Maintain
Implant supported dentures are designed to be long lasting. Patients can speak and eat without worrying about the dentures shifting or slipping in the mouth.
The bone around the missing teeth is better preserved since the implants replicate the natural root of the tooth and stimulate its preservation. Bone loss is therefore greatly reduced.
With implants anchoring the denture, it is not necessary to fully cover the roof of the mouth. Patients have a better appreciation for the texture, temperature and taste of food.
Implant supported dentures eliminate the need for denture adhesives to help hold the denture in place. Since the dentures are secured by the implants, they stay secure and in place.
Implant supported dentures can triple the force of the bite and restore chewing ability comparable to that of natural teeth. Implant supported dentures are stronger and more secure than traditional dentures and make biting and chewing less difficult.
Implant Supported Denture Procedure
The implant supported denture procedure is performed in two phases. In the first phase, surgery is performed to place the implants in the jawbone under the gums. Once the gums heal from the surgery, the second phase can be performed which is when the dentures can be placed into the mouth and attached to the implants. There are two types of implant supported dentures:
A thin metal bar in the shape of the jaw is attached to the implants that have been placed in the jawbone. The denture fits over the bar and is securely clipped into place by clips or other attachments.
Each implant in the jawbone holds a metal attachment that fits into another attachment on the denture. In most cases, the attachments on the implants are ball-shaped and they fit into sockets on the denture.
Implant supported dentures are strong, secure, and help to regain nearly all the abilities patients had with their natural teeth.